tv Sanjay Gupta MD CNN December 23, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PST
president obama will go to the funeral for late daniel inouye. being buried at the national cemetery of the pacific in honolulu. there was a memorial in washington on friday. the obamas arrived in hawaii yesterday for their christmas vacation. tunisia auctioning off, clothing, jewelry, art all among the items people can bid on, but the highlight is expected to be the cars including a lamborghini and a bentley and an armored d cadill cadillac. more top stories at the top of the hour when "cnn sunday morning" continues. i'll randi kaye.
dr. sanjay gupta md begins right now. what might be the most upsetting story i ever reported. i want to start by saying the kind of horrible violence that we saw in newtown, connecticut, it isn't new. the worst school attack took place more than 80 years ago in michigan. there was this new school, baath consolidated school which was the pride and joy of that community. this farmer, he became angry about that. so, get this, for weeks he put dynamite under the local school and then eventually blew it up. 38 children died. and then he killed himself with another load of dynamite. we'll never truly know for sure why he did all that ask or what made the young man in newtown unload a rifle into a classroom full of first graders. i looked at other school shootings and they might just provide some clues. first thing you notice when you look around newtown, everyone
has that questioning look. why? what did we miss? to try to make some sense in newtown, connecticut, look for evidence of patterns. not talking about looking at clothing styles or musical preperances or lifestyle, but rather looking for evidence of specific plans. could give some clues to what was happening in a person's mind and in their brain. it's hard to know because relatively few tragedies like this one. but a close look at the ten most analyzed mass murder cases in history provide remarkable insight. according to this report, doctors typically start by placing these killers into three categories. traumatized, psychotic, psychopathic. in 2005, a 16-year-old killed five people at a school in minnesota.
a look into his past revealed an abused boy with an awful family history. the shooter had been previously traumatized. the have va tech shooter killed 32 people. and 12 lives were taken in an aurora, colorado, movie theaters. the killers showed signs of psychotic behavior, severe di delusions. we now know he even laughed while gunning down his victims. looking back, none of them had snapped, they had all left clues. pieced together after it was too late. we still don't know much about the shooter that lived in this home. there is something else to clr, what medications he was on. specifically talking about antidepressants. if you look at shootings like this that happened, medications were a common factor.
not saying that antidepressants can't be effective, but people agree there is a vulnerable time when someone starts these medications and when someone stops could lead to increased and making someone out of touch. none of these behaviors will fully predict or explain why, but, soon, again, there will be hindsight that might just help prevent another tragedy. in terms of medication, you know, one report showed over a seven-year period 11 episodes of violence related to drug side-effects. it is worth noting if a death was involved in that violence, most often a suicide. the individual did not, in fact, harm others. i want to bring in an expert in forensic psychiatry and the author of this book "almost a psychopath." thanks for joining us. i'm sure you've been thinking about this a lot.
a lot of questions you studied rampage killers and you agree that there isn't just one type that she's shooters fall into, but i guess the question is, are they by definition mentally ill just given the crime they just committed? >> thanks for having me on, sanjay. it's as complicated a picture as you lay out here. and as you point out that there are these different categories of people who engage in these acts of violence. most of whom do not have a serious mental illness and the mast majority of crimes are not committed by people with mental illness. however, a small group of people who are predisposed who have complicating factors of substance abuse and other additional risk factors. >> just by saying that they don't have mental illness, does that mean they weren't diagnosed or they weren't treated? how do you, i mean, do we know for sure they didn't have it? >> well, we don't know for sure,
but in general when we look at many of these cases, especially for school shooting and episodes of workplace violence, we see people who don't have what we consider a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar, they have personality disturbances and severe personality traits along the antisocial realm and that's where we get along the issue of psychopa psychopathy. but the majority of the cases, there is not a diagnosis of severe mental illness. >> no hard and severe rules here. i'm sure everyone has been following the story of newtown so closely. what occurred to you when you heard this? >> how much more we need to know. how much more we need to know about this individual. you know, we all like to search for so much simple solutions and put people into categories and put these people in categories because it gives us an illusion of some sense of control.
i'd like to know a lot more about him in terms of his personality and his criminal history and about his diagnosis and about his relationships. when we think about risk of violence, we think about three sets of factors. individual risk factors and environmental risk factors and situational triggers. one thing we heard about in this case is the possibility that his mother was about to commit him to the hospital. i had a number of cases in which people who were paranoid for many years suddenly turn on the family member, often their mother, because they believe the mother has gone to the other side and joined the conspiracy against them. >> made the point earlier that it is not sure any answer will prove satisfactory here and a lot of people speculating, as you say. i really appreciate your insights. to the extent they can help people out there who suffer with mental illness. not necessarily saying he had it, but we don't want people to be stigmatized. i really appreciate it. >> absolutely, thank you.
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there's been a lot of attention put on the mother of the young man in newtown. was she wrong to keep all those guns, for example. did she know her son was a potential killer? and what we know for sure is parenting a troubled child, especially as they get older, can be a tremendous challenge. andrew salmon is the author of "far from the tree: parents, children and the search for identity." he joins us to talk about this. thanks for joining us i'm been watching your comments on this, i think your voice is really important around this issue. you know, one thing i should point out and you know this
already. we don't know if adam lanza, the connecticut shooter, had mental illness, although some family friends out there say he did. dr. schouten says he thinks these people who commit these mass attacks are not mentally ill. i wondered, andrew, what do you think of that? >> well, first of all, it's a pleasure to be on the show. and i think it's a semantic argument. people who are mentally solid and sane don't shoot up a whole room of first graders. there is always the danger that by suggesting people who do these things have mental illnesses, we somehow implicate many other people who have mental illnesses and will never do any such thing. and there is no particular likelihood of people with mental illnesses committing crimes like this. but i think if the crime itself shows there is some kind of profound dysfunction and i think pyschopathy, even though not listed in the diagnostic and statistical manual, along with schizophrenia and so on, is equally a mental illness. >> i heard a stat that people with many mental illnesses are
more likely to be victims of violence as opposed to perpetrating it. again, i think your point is a good one. in the book, terrific book, you write about the families of people who develop schizophrenia and how hard it is to push your child into treatment. was that the case with the people you met and interviewed? >> you know, schizophrenia is a very disturbing illness for many, many reasons. but one of them is that it has a relatively late onset stage. it tends to come on in late adolescence or early adulthood. it's very difficult when you see someone whom you've known well and loved and admired for 20 years turn into somebody else, to figure out what to do about it. and we tend to stick with a kind of bacterial model in which we think there is something that has happened to this person, and if we took it away, the person would be there whole and intact underneath that. and, in fact, schizophrenia can obliterate much of the person who was there. now, there are people who respond incredibly well to the medications and treatments that there are for schizophrenia.
there are people who have the discipline to pursue them. and there are many people with schizophrenia leading rich and rewarding and productive lives. but it's a difficult illness to manage. and when it comes on, it's shocking. it's shocking how profoundly it changes people and it's shocking how the command hallucinations they have, the sense of voices instructing them to do things they would never do can determine their behavior. >> so what do you do? i mean, right? i think people watching, andrew, are thinking, okay, gosh. what does this all mean? if -- if i'm worried about my own child, or -- i mean, you wrote about how people became afraid of their children. what do you think is the message for parents, perhaps, of people just post adolescence watching this and concerned? >> i think the biggest message is vigilance. i think children should be screened more often than they mostly are. i think parents who think their child's behavior is strange should get that child in to see a psychiatrist. i think if you remove some of the stigma, we'll make it easier for people to talk about their
hallucinations or anything else they're going through that is distorting their sense of reality. but i think it's really -- the question ultimately is attention. and the attention has to come from the parents, the attention should come from the schools, the attention should come from the society at large. and when it becomes clear that it's needed, the attention should come from medical professionals. >> as i said, andrew, always a pleasure to speak with you. i enjoy hearing your comments. thanks for joining us. >> it's a pleasure to be here. thank you. turning back to the victims now. for most of us, it's almost inconceivable what those children in newtown experienced and what the survivors are still going through now. this week my friend and colleague, elizabeth cohen, met two young men who have been there before and want to share their stories in the hopes they can help. >> i saw some of the bullets going past the hall. >> we heard yelling and put your hands up. don't shoot. we heard lots of scary stuff. >> reporter: these innocent eyes have witnessed unspeakable horrors. >> everybody was like crying. >> reporter: images that could haunt them forever.
>> walked past, saw the principal, saw the blood. >> reporter: physically, they escaped, but how will these young survivors do mentally? >> very serious situation. the north valley jewish community center. >> reporter: ben kadish and josh know what it's like to face the nightmare. 13 years ago, the boys were at summer camp in los angeles when a gunman stormed in and shot them. ben was 5. what do you remember happening around you? >> screaming, tons of screaming. >> reporter: josh was 6. >> he came in and he shot all the way around, and the next thing i remember, i was just getting up and running as fast as i could that way. >> reporter: the boys survived, but were never the same emotionally. >> i didn't live a normal childhood. in no means did i have a normal childhood. >> reporter: the shooter, buford furrow, had robbed them of their security. >> when you were dropped off at school, you wondered, am i safe? >> yes. >> for how long? >> probably through middle
school. >> if we heard helicopters, sirens, loud noises, anything that would startle me, the house was on lockdown. >> so you would lock doors? >> every door and window. >> why would you lock every door and window? >> that was the closest thing i could feel safe. >> reporter: now 19, these two young men are among people who have experienced what the connecticut children have experienced. >> the pictures of the kids being taken out and all standing in this line, i could accidentally mistake the pictures from when i got shot. >> reporter: they worry for the newtown children. >> i think they are going to feel, you know, afraid of the dark, afraid of loud noises. >> reporter: what advice would you give to these parents in connecticut? >> listen to your kids. you know? they're a lot smarter than we take them for. and so you really have to just listen to them and be understanding to them and know that there will be times when they really do want to talk about it and there will be times when they don't. and if they don't want to talk
about it, don't push them. >> elizabeth cohen joins us now. i'm always struck how mature kids become after this. >> they have lots of words of wisdom and i wonder if they'll fly across the country and get to meet those kids. i asked ben, what was the one thing your parents did most helpful? and they would say to him, ben, you are stronger because of this. so he would repeat kind of this -- he called it a slogan. ben kadish can do anything. because he said if i survived that, i can do anything. >> and are they still fearful? he was talking about, you know, how it was in the immediate aftermath. they're grown up now. do they still seem fearful at all? >> they do. they will say that themselves. you know, when they were thinking about where to go to college, they're both 19. they thought about going out of state but they decided to stay right in los angeles because they said they have moments that are tough. and when they have a tough moment, they want to be a five-minute drive home. they don't want to have to be a plane ride home. that's their safety zone. >> it's interesting. i'm sure you thought about this
as well with your kids. people most exposed, like the two men in the piece, they obviously -- they were injured are the most at risk. but then people who witness it, people close by it. but then there is a whole bunch of kids all over the world or farther away. how much of an impact do you think it makes on your kids and my kids? >> i think that we're fortunate in that we can limit it as much as we possibly can. you know, i've made a point of not emphasizing it with my children. not talking about it too much this past week. and we kept the television off. if they ask about it, we answer their questions. but i think one of the keys is, is to just sort of keep it away from them. if you can. >> right. yeah. i've tried to do that, as well. but it's just social media nowadays, amazing the questions they ask. good stuff. thanks, elizabeth. and there's another thing that caught my eye as well up in newtown. you may have seen some of these images. the comfort dogs. nine specially trained golden retrievers made their way up
from illinois to connecticut to help children and adults alike cope and grieve. these pooches, i've seen them in other places, flood zones, hurricane zones and now newtown, hopefully bringing some smiles and sense of relief to a community that's still trying to make sense of what has happened here. up next, another type of assistance dog. in this case, to alert a young boy and his parents to impending seizures. you're going to meet 9-year-old evan moss and his dog, mindy. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
welcome back. i want to take a moment to share a nice, uplifting story with you. it's about a boy, his dog and the spirit of giving. 9-year-old evan moss is a boy who only cares about one, simple thing. >> all of these are filled with poke mon cards. >> unfortunately his life isn't so simple s. >> when he was a couple weeks old he had little shaky movements. it was one arm that would sort of twitch a little bit and last a few seconds. >> they took their son to dozens of doctor's appointments and he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that caused
nonmalignant tumors to grow inside the brain and other organs. it includes one of the hallmark symptoms, potentially life-threatening seizures that can happen at any moment. since they can't watch over him all the time, they began to look for an extra set of eyes, ears and a nose. >> we found out that not only did these dogs respond to seizure seizures -- good dog. >> -- that they had the capability to alert you you to tell you that the individual might have a seizure or might soon be having a seizure. >> as you might imagine, these types of highly trained service dogs, dogs that can literally sniff out chemical changes in the body leads up to a seizure, don't come cheap. >> a service dog generally costs from $22,000 to $25,000. they ask for each recipient family to fund raise 13,000 of that to offset the cost. as part of the application they ask for something from the child
receiving the dog. he said can ci wreeite a book? >> my he seizure dog by me. i will get a seizure dog to help me when i have a seizure. we will be best friends. >> big sister aria suggested their apparents self-publish his book on amazon, where it top to twuft site's best seller lists. a book signing followed at a neighborhood coffee shop. the turnout was overwhelming. >> we did end up raising around $45,000, and we helped about seven additional children complete her fund-raising. >> come on, climb you up. >> mindy rarely leaves evan as side during the day, at school, on the bus, in the backyard, and never leaves his side at night. >> the seizure dog will sleep with me. if i have a seizure during my
sleep, the seizure dog will tell my parents. >> mindy moss, family pet, parents' security blanket and evan's best friend. if you want to learn more, you can buy evan's book or make a donation, do that by logging on by dogforevan.com. for many people this is a popular regift, but do you know that the fruitcake may be the bar. it's finding fans in bikers and hikers who are looking for foods high in carbohydrates that can fuel them on long hauls. one serving in case you're curious packed with nuts and dried fruit can have 7% of your daily iron intake. maybe it really is the food that keeps on giving. you know, all those tempting treats this time of year, they
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